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First Data Releases October 2012 SpendTrend® Analysis

First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, today released its First Data SpendTrend® analysis for the full month of October 2012 compared to October 2011. SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations.

Dollar volume growth of 6.7% in October was healthy as shoppers became less pessimistic about the economy. Improved consumer sentiment and a pullback in savings continued to support spend. Meanwhile, transaction growth slipped to 5.9% in October compared to 6.3% in September.

Average ticket growth was 0.8% in October, a reversal from September’s -0.5% growth. Several retail categories experienced improved average tickets from September due to a slight rise in prices. However, a sharp increase in average ticket growth at retailers indicates that consumers have also shown an increased tendency to spend more.

Several segments in the Northeast, such as retailers and food and beverage stores, saw a surge in business late in the month as consumers stocked up on supplies and prepared for the storm. However, during Hurricane Sandy’s landfall and shortly after sales were negatively disrupted across most segments as power outages kept shoppers at home.

“In spite of the uncertainty surrounding the economy and Hurricane Sandy, consumer spending growth continues very much in line with the level of growth we have seen over the last six to seven months. Consumers appear to be in a favorable spending mood heading into the holiday season due to recovering housing prices, slight job gains and modest income growth which has buoyed consumer confidence,” said Rikard Bandebo, vice president and economist, First Data. “However, consumers are also reducing their savings to support spend which suggests that current growth rate will not be sustainable in the long term without substantial improvement in the economy.”

October Dollar Volume Growth



Credit +8.9%
Signature Debit +2.9%
PIN Debit +6.7%
Check -4.6%
Closed-Loop Prepaid +2.7%

Note: All transactions are same-store growth.


For more information on First Data SpendTrend, visit or call SpendTrend Customer Care at 800-430-0169. A supplementary podcast including further analysis of the SpendTrend October 2012 report is available here.

To participate in the SpendTrend conversation, please follow First Data at and join us at

Around the world, every second of every day, First Data makes payment transactions secure, fast and easy for merchants, financial institutions and their customers. First Data leverages its vast product portfolio and expertise to drive customer revenue and profitability. Whether the choice of payment is by debit or credit card, gift card, check or mobile phone, online or at the checkout counter, First Data takes every opportunity to go beyond the transaction.

First Data SpendTrend, a macro-economic indicator, is based on aggregate same-store sales activity in the First Data Point of Sale Network. First Data SpendTrend does not represent First Data’s financial performance.

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